Mississippi State Trooper takes saving lives to personal level, donates part of liver to lifelong friend

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Saving lives became very personal for one Mississippi State Trooper.

On Tuesday, Sgt. Gary Stanton with Troop F in New Albany underwent surgery to donate part of his liver for a lifelong friend, in order that his friend could overcome cancer.

Stanton and Sandy Byrd have been friends since kindergarten. Not only did they graduate together, but the two were also part of each other’s weddings.

In December 2019, Byrd was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma in his liver.

Stanton, who has worked for the Mississippi Highway Patrol for 13 years, said the goal of his job is to save lives and so giving part of his liver to his lifelong friend was another way of accomplishing that goal

Doctors planned to take 59.5% of Stanton’s liver and transplant it into Byrd.

Stanton posted a picture of him and Byrd on Facebook early Tuesday morning.

In a caption, he said, “By the end of today, my friend will no longer have cancer. I think that’s pretty great. I love you guys.”

As of Tuesday evening, both Stanton or Byrd were both in ICU recovering from the surgery.